Did the ANV Second Corps Create the Lost Cause?

OldReliable1862

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I readily admit to not being an expert on the Lost Cause and Civil War historiography, but I think there might be something to all this.

When looking at the major Lost Cause writers who were former generals, one immediately notices that several were members of Jackson's corps. The few generals who disagreed tended to come from the First, with some from the Third Corps or the Western armies. Of course, this should be put into perspective - the majority of Confederate veterans more or less held to the basic premises Lost Cause regardless of what unit they served with. My main interest is in the "Marble Man" conception of Lee and elevating Jackson at Longstreet's expense.

I even think one could say the Lost Cause was born at one particular battle, that being Chancellorsville. As Longstreet and half his corps were away on the Suffolk campaign, the battle was fought by Lee and Jackson only. The latter's impressive flank attack and wounding helped the Lost Cause remember Jackson only at his best.
 

jackt62

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Provocative idea, have not come across that thinking before. It is true that one of the early and major proponents of the Lost Cause was Jubal Early, who at various times commanded a division in II Corps as well as the Corps itself. Likewise for General John Gordon. But the concept was first articulated by a journalist, Edward Pollard who as far as I know, had no particular connection to II Corps. And General Richard Ewell, who commanded II Corps was not known as a particular figure in the Lost Cause movement. Moreover, General D.H. Hill, another major proponent of the Lost Cause, was only associated with II Corps for a time under Jackson, while being reassigned to other postings after Jackson's death. So while this is an intriguing thought, I don't find it plausible enough to suggest that the II Corps "created the Lost Cause."
 

jackt62

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I even think one could say the Lost Cause was born at one particular battle, that being Chancellorsville. As Longstreet and half his corps were away on the Suffolk campaign, the battle was fought by Lee and Jackson only. The latter's impressive flank attack and wounding helped the Lost Cause remember Jackson only at his best.
I will say that Jackson became a leading icon of the Lost Cause movement, and his untimely passing at Chancellorsville certainly cemented his historical legacy in that regard. But the genesis of the Lost Cause was greater than any one particular battle; in fact, if we had to pinpoint one, it might more likely be Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. The Lost Cause was based on enshrining certain Confederate models such as Jackson, Lee, and Davis, while casting fault on others such as Longstreet, Stuart, and Ewell. Rather than celebrating specific battles, the Lost Cause had a greater purpose in mind; that is, to construct a narrative celebrating southern honor, justifying the fight for secession and southern independence, and proclaiming the superiority of southern arms. In order to do so, that movement's creed encompassed the totality of the Confederacy's military, political, and social systems including everything from Ft. Sumter to Appomattox.
 

Lubliner

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I will say that Jackson became a leading icon of the Lost Cause movement, and his untimely passing at Chancellorsville certainly cemented his historical legacy in that regard. But the genesis of the Lost Cause was greater than any one particular battle; in fact, if we had to pinpoint one, it might more likely be Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg. The Lost Cause was based on enshrining certain Confederate models such as Jackson, Lee, and Davis, while casting fault on others such as Longstreet, Stuart, and Ewell. Rather than celebrating specific battles, the Lost Cause had a greater purpose in mind; that is, to construct a narrative celebrating southern honor, justifying the fight for secession and southern independence, and proclaiming the superiority of southern arms. In order to do so, that movement's creed encompassed the totality of the Confederacy's military, political, and social systems including everything from Ft. Sumter to Appomattox.
I find it fascinating that Mosby and his Rangers tend to evade the full indoctrination of the Jubal Early efforts. Also from the political angle of Mosby serving during Grant's administration never cast any ill-repute from his colleagues. Now I am seldom 100 per cent sure of everything, but I find no instance of this entanglement existing with Colonel Mosby and his men. If someone has, I would be willing to listen.
Lubliner.
 

jackt62

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I find it fascinating that Mosby and his Rangers tend to evade the full indoctrination of the Jubal Early efforts. Also from the political angle of Mosby serving during Grant's administration never cast any ill-repute from his colleagues. Now I am seldom 100 per cent sure of everything, but I find no instance of this entanglement existing with Colonel Mosby and his men. If someone has, I would be willing to listen.
Lubliner.
This is what Mosby wrote in a 1907 letter to a Mr. Sam Chapman:

"There was more vindictiveness shown to me by the Virginia people for my voting for Grant than the North showed to me for fighting four years against him."
 

James N.

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Provocative idea, have not come across that thinking before. It is true that one of the early and major proponents of the Lost Cause was Jubal Early, who at various times commanded a division in II Corps as well as the Corps itself. Likewise for General John Gordon. But the concept was first articulated by a journalist, Edward Pollard who as far as I know, had no particular connection to II Corps. And General Richard Ewell, who commanded II Corps was not known as a particular figure in the Lost Cause movement. Moreover, General D.H. Hill, another major proponent of the Lost Cause, was only associated with II Corps for a time under Jackson, while being reassigned to other postings after Jackson's death. So while this is an intriguing thought, I don't find it plausible enough to suggest that the II Corps "created the Lost Cause."
I can think of at least two other important writers working in the postwar period who came from the Second Corps, Jackson's onetime chief-of-staff and his earliest biographer Rev. Robert Dabney, and his sometime aide-de-camp Henry Kyd Douglas. I don't think they necessarily promoted the Lost Cause but they certainly helped to continue to popularize Stonewall.
 
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